QCA graduates shine at Graduate of the Year Awards

Bianca Mavrick at the 2013 Jewellery and Small Objects graduate exhibition with a display of her work. Image by Laura Burstow.
Bianca Mavrick at the 2013 Jewellery and Small Objects graduate exhibition with a display of her work. Image by Laura Burstow.

Queensland College of Art Jewellery and Small Objects graduate Bianca Mavrick has been awarded the first prize in Jewellery Design at the Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA) 2014 at DesignEX in Sydney. AGOTYA is the Design Institute of Australia’s (DIA) primary student and graduate design award program.

This win follows recent success at the state-level Queensland Graduate of the Year Awards (QGOTYA) announced recently, where Bianca won a a 3D printer as first prize for Jewellery Design, and three other QCA Fine Art, Jewellery and Small Objects graduates were finalists.

GOTYA is an important way of acknowledging and celebrating the top design graduates in the state.

QCA graduate Seon Im was awarded second prize for Jewellery Design in the QGOTYA and received $500 dollars of 3D printing, with graduates Kelly Johns and Teresa Lee also being shortlisted in the design awards.

Bianca’s works are inspired by the anti-design movement of the 1980s. She’s fascinated by urban sub-cultural histories and embraces colour, scale and the tactile nature of jewellery to create works that promote social change, provoke interaction and optimism.

Seon Im’s work started with an interest in how people perceive and maintain a sense of control in their lives. She was able to show this through a series of sculptural neck-pieces, a face mask and a series of rings exploring ideas of balance.

Design Institute of Australia General Manager, Phillippa Rowland said, “I am absolutely delighted with the AGOTYA prize winners and congratulate them for the quality and thoughtfulness of their work. As emerging designers, the future of the industry would appear to be in good hands. I would also like to congratulate all the entrants who are winners in their own state or NZ who have shown amazing talent and skill to progress to the Australasian judging.”

QCA Jewellery and Small Objects Convenor, Liz Shaw, said all of the shortlisted graduates were prime contenders for the awards.

“Their works draw on a range of non-traditional influences for jewellery, and the pieces they have created certainly couldn’t be described as conservative,” Liz said.

“The recognition from industry confirms that works completed as a student hold significance outside of the University learning environment. For the graduates this is a wonderful confidence boost and it’s also very inspiring for current students.”

The reputation of the Jewellery and Small Objects major at QCA extends far beyond students of Fine Art, with students from other Griffith University degrees picking up electives and majors in this area as well.

“Being the only tertiary course in the field north of Sydney, students often travel long distances to study this increasingly popular medium. QCA offers a vibrant learning environment that supports a strong sense of community. Students are challenged to develop their work conceptually and technically and are encouraged to engage in activities that will enhance their learning, including attending master classes and guest lectures,” Liz said.

Visit Bianca Mavrick’s website and Seon Im You’s website to see more work from these talented artists.

Find out more about Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art.

View all of the award winners from the Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards.